That First Look

Published on 11 May 2023 at 09:54

Rick and I both went to a small country church just a few miles from where I was born and raised.

Daddy, Momma and I started going there when I was about 8 years old.

One of the very first people I saw, was a boy about 9 or 10.

As soon as I saw him, I knew in my heart that I wanted to be his wife when I got old enough.

Did not even know his name!

But there was something about him that said – “That’s him!”


I found out later that it was Ricky Lee McCoy.

His daddy was a deacon in that small country church. 

His daddy and momma both taught some of the classes, and were both very active in the events of the church.

Ricky Lee was all boy.

Didn’t seem to even know I was alive! Lol

We were just kids, but I had “set my cap” for him – and I was absolutely in love with a boy!


For reasons I never did understand, because it was not something you talked about – at least not to my Daddy and Momma – Daddy stopped going to church when I was about 10 or so.

For a while, Momma kept going.

But it caused some problems between her and Daddy, so she quit going as well.


After a time, I was allowed to continue going.

One of my teachers was Rick’s Aunt Jerry.

When Momma quit going, I missed a couple of classes.

But then, Aunt Jerry stopped at the house to make sure I wasn’t sick.

When Momma told her that they weren’t going to church, so I had no way to get there, Aunt Jerry asked if she could come get me.

Momma was protective of me.


But it was the way she was, and I didn’t know any different.

However, she liked Aunt Jerry, and allowed her to pick me up and bring me home.

Momma often said that Aunt Jerry was the only one she trusted with me – so much so that Momma never asked me where we were going, or what we had done.

I always told her when I got home – but it was more of a “momma-daughter” conversation, not a grilling situation.


Thank you, Aunt Jerry, for being so faithful.

I am thankful for you every day.

You never treated me like a kid, and certainly never treated me like I was a bother!

I love you – more.


As I grew to be a teenager, Rick’s Uncle Lonnie and Aunt Cathey became our youth leaders, and once Momma met them – they, too, were allowed to pick me up and take me to church, as well as to outing events with the youth group.


I grew up in that church.

Worked in the nursery, taught classes, worked in Vacation Bible Schools.

Rick grew up in that church, too.

Many of Rick’s family went to that church.

I was friends with his sister, with his cousins.


I was never allowed to go to someone’s house outside the family.

Except, Momma allowed me to go over to his house and play with his sister.

Aunt Jerry made sure I was at many of the family functions away from church, with Momma always trusting her “to the moon”.


In all those years of growing up together in that church, it never really crossed my mind that we would not be married.

I just knew deep inside that we would be . . . in time.


Years came, and years went by.

Daddy and Momma never returned to church.

There, or anywhere else.


I guess the next, and last time, for them to go to church was when Rick and I got married – in that little country church.

September 5, 1980.


Never discount that First Look





This picture was taken at Lake O' the Pines, Jefferson Texas - in June 1980. 

I had gone with Rick and his family for a week-long vacation after he had returned from a week in Oregon. 

So many memories from that week - and this favorite picture of mine. 






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